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God’s many world-changing callings in Hebrew history

February 21, 2022

Daily Scripture

Exodus 3:1-11; Exodus 4:18;Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 78:70-72

Exodus 3:1-11

1 Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro, Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. 2 The LORD’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. 3 Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.

4 When the LORD saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
Moses said, “I’m here.”

5 Then the LORD said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

7 Then the LORD said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. 8 I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. 9 Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them. 10 So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:18

18 Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my family in Egypt and see whether or not they are still living.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

Isaiah 6:1-8

1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the LORD sitting on a high and exalted throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple. 2 Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about. 3 They shouted to each other, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of heavenly forces!
All the earth is filled with God’s glory!”

4 The doorframe shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 I said, “Mourn for me; I’m ruined! I’m a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips. Yet I’ve seen the king, the LORD of heavenly forces!”

6 Then one of the winged creatures flew to me, holding a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips. Your guilt has departed, and your sin is removed.”

8 Then I heard the LORD’s voice saying, “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?”
I said, “I’m here; send me.”

Psalm 78:70-72

70 And God chose David, his servant,
taking him from the sheepfolds.
71 God brought him from shepherding nursing ewes
to shepherd his people Jacob,
to shepherd his inheritance, Israel.
72 David shepherded them with a heart of integrity;
he led them with the skill of his hands.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

God called many people in the Hebrew Scriptures. With different specifics, all the calls led to a role in God’s mission. Moses, hesitant at first, challenged the Egyptian Pharaoh on God’s behalf to “Let my people go.” David’s father saw no talent in his youngest son (cf. 1 Samuel 16:1-13), but God did, and the shepherd boy became Israel’s greatest earthly king. Isaiah, cleansed in a vision of God’s glory, said “I’m here; send me” when God called for a prophet to carry warning and hope to God’s people.

  • God’s voice from the burning bush said, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” God linked Moses’ call with the long unfolding of God’s purposes that began with Abraham. At Resurrection, we believe our work is part of that same divine mission. What helps you to remember that God is calling you to join millions of others who, through the ages, have worshiped and served “Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God”?
  • God asked Isaiah, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” What God was seeking in Isaiah’s day was a person willing to minister honestly to people who were blind to their spiritual rebellion. (Read samples from Isaiah 1 and 9 for a sense of the two dimensions of Isaiah’s message.) As God calls you, are you willing to say, “I’m here; send me,” even if using your gifts may prove difficult and involve sacrifice?

Lord Jesus, you call all of us to be, in some way, your physical presence, to minister to others. Help me hear and live into your calling on me, and to encourage others to answer your call in their lives, too. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley serves as the Online Connection and Care Pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. After seven years of higher ed in religion, she finally understands that she can't figure out God (no matter how hard she tries). She’s leaning into the challenge to move from a thinking-based faith to loving God with both her head and heart.

It can be hard to figure out what we’re called to do. Often, we think our calling is “somewhere out there,” far from our everyday landscapes. When we see it this way, our callings can seem elusive, hard to pin down. They can seem like they require an entirely other life than our current one. With this tendency to only look outwardly for our calling, we can get lost in the search.

But what if we looked inwardly as well? Frederick Buechner, an American theologian, said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” That’s a meeting, an intersection of two things. Every corner of the world contains a deep hunger to be identified. Each one of us holds a deep gladness. So, what could your deep gladness be?

Another theologian, Parker Palmer, said this about finding our calling: “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” What the two quotes have in common is an emphasis on the inward search. Rather than seeking to find a calling that might be “somewhere out there,” perhaps we should try listening to our interior selves. Instead of trying to see into the future, perhaps we could look to the past for what it tells us about who we are.

Regardless of how we go about finding it, God calls us…all of us. So, I wonder: what is God calling you to do?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.